So you’re just starting to plan your wedding. The first thing you should do is book your wedding reception venue, right? Well, not so fast. Choosing the best venue means taking the time to really think about what you want and doing the research to find the location that will best suit your needs. Close to half (48%) of couples do their venue research online, but that may not be enough.
Remember: the wedding venue with the best pictures isn’t always the best venue in real life. Here are three crucial things past brides say they wish they’d known about their wedding venues before they put down that deposit.
- Can You Bring Your Own Decorations?
Many couples like to save money on their wedding plans by recruiting friends and family members to not only make, but hang up, homemade decorations. But some wedding reception venues may not allow this, either because of fire hazards or contract regulations with their staff. If you plan on some DIY fun, make sure that you can actually put all of that hard work on display when the time comes.
- Are There Any Extra or Hidden Fees?
Finding a dream venue that fits your budget can quickly turn into a nightmare if you suddenly have to deal with unexpected surcharges for gift distribution, a cake-cutting fee, extra gratuities, or other nickle and dime add-ons hidden in the fine print of your venue contract. Make sure that you know everything that is or isn’t included in the venue’s wedding packages before you commit.
- Will There Be Other Events Happening the Same Day?
Event venues tend to book up fast, and some places try to squeeze in as much activity as they can. Do you really want your wedding ceremony to overlap with a corporate event? Would you rather your guests didn’t have to fight for parking spots and bathroom space with another wedding happening down the hall? The noise and activity levels from other events happening at the same time as your wedding reception may unexpectedly interfere with your plans, so be sure to ask the venue about their booking policies and calendars.
Before you sign on with a wedding reception venue, make sure that you have all of the information and details you need to plan the rest of your wedding accordingly. After all, planning in advance for your big day will help you throw a magical party that you and your guests won’t soon forget.